Trio Fined Over Boiler Negligence

Carbon monoxide poisoning from boiler


Two landlords and a gas engineer have been found guilty of breaching safety laws over an incident in which a mother and her daughter were affected by carbon monoxide.

Motoko Riley and her six-year-old daughter Emily were at their home in Portswood Road, Southampton, on December 2, 2007, when they fell ill.

Emily started to drift in and out of consciousness, while Mrs Riley suffered bad headaches and started vomiting.

At Southampton Magistrates' Court, it was heard landlords Robert and David Watts, of Woodlands, had failed to service the boiler for almost four years despite being repeatedly warned.

The brothers each pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws.

Robert Watts was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay £4,500 costs, while David Watts was fined £7,000 and told to pay £4,500 in costs.

The property's gas engineer, David MacDonald, was fined after being found guilty of breaching gas safety laws after he declared the boiler safe to use three times when it was not.

MacDonald was fined £5,000 and told to pay costs of £548.
Copyright © Press Association 2010

Katrina Elsey from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “This was an avoidable incident which should not have occurred. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide continues to kill and injure thousands of people each year. It is crucial that all people carrying out a service on gas supplies make sure they are following the correct procedures so that no one else is put at risk. The consequences of failing to do so can be fatal.”